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The New Mexico Environment Department is rewriting the state’s rules on water pollution. 

The state’s water quality rules regulate everything from groundwater pollution from abandoned wells to sewer discharge into rivers. But some of those rules are outdated.

The Environment Department kicked off a review process last week to study them, and see which ones need to be updated.

Andy Lyman/NMPoliticalReport.com

More than 7,000 people gathered in the Albuquerque Convention Center on Friday to hear Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speak. It was just hours after he spoke at the Santa Fe Community College. Enthusiastic supporters waited in a half-mile-long line for nearly an hour and hundreds were turned away when the venue was full.

KUNM’s Marino Spencer chatted with folks to find out why they’re ‘feelin’ the Bern.’

Ed Williams

Air pollution is a serious problem for some neighborhoods in Albuquerque—especially in low-income areas that border an industrial zone south of downtown.

Jonathan Thompson / High Country News

New Mexico Sues EPA, Mine Owners Over Gold King Spill Susan Montoya Bryan, Associated Press

New Mexico is suing the federal government and the owners of two mines over environmental and economic damages caused by the release of 3 million gallons of wastewater from a southern Colorado mine.

New Mexico’s unique way of paying for public infrastructure projects has been under fire lately. Critics say lawmakers often divert money as political pork, at the expense of statewide construction projects. 

Now some  government officials are taking steps to address the problem at the local level. 

New Mexico PBS

 

There are many reasons why people struggle to save money and move out of poverty. One is not having any extra money around for college, a house or to start a business.

That’s where one local organization has stepped in with a potential solution. 

Mike Disharoon via Compfight

New Mexico Pushes For Remedies In Wake Of Mine Waste Spill 
Susan Montoya Bryan, Associated Press

New Mexico's top prosecutor says the federal government and Colorado have made little progress in remedying widespread damages from the 2015 wastewater release from a mine.

Larry Myhre via Compfight

Mine Environmental Risk Grows With Bankruptcies In Big Coal - The Associated Press

The growing number of bankruptcies in the coal industry make it increasingly likely taxpayers will get stuck with the huge environmental costs of abandoned mines.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Hungry people in New Mexico may have been denied expedited food assistance after their applications were falsified and put on hold. That’s according to testimony from state workers in recent weeks during an ongoing hearing about whether the Human Services Department is fit to process applications.

ABCWUA Will Not Bring Back Fluoridated Water

May 18, 2016
Steve Johnson via Flickr / CREATIVE COMMONS

UPDATE 5/19: Water utility board members decided Wednesday not to add more fluoride to drinking water to promote oral health in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County.

The Albuquerque Journal reports the board voted to cut the funding for supplemental fluoridation.

Supporters of fluoridation argue it benefits low-income people who don’t have easy access to affordable dental care. Critics of supplemental fluoridation say it creates  health risks.

stepharooskie via Flickr

Sen. Bernie Sanders Set To Make A New Mexico Swing – Associated Press

Sen. Bernie Sanders is coming to New Mexico.  Santa Fe Community College spokeswoman Janet Wise confirmed that the Democratic presidential candidate will hold a rally on that campus Friday afternoon.

Luc Van Geyte via Flickr / Courtesy Fédération Aéronautique Internationale

Albuquerque Woos International Air Games Event – Albuquerque Journal

Albuquerque officials are meeting with members of an international air games organization with hopes of hosting the next event around the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

The Battle Over Food Benefits

May 16, 2016
piropiro3 via Compfight / Creative Commons License

KUNM Call In Show 5/19 8a:

A group of workers in the Human Services Department testified earlier this month that their bosses changed applications for food stamps in order to prevent people from gaining access to emergency assistance. HSD officials invoked the Fifth Amendment more than 100 times last week when called to testify in court about the allegations. 

In the wake of 11-year-old Ashlynne Mike’s death in Shiprock on the Navajo Nation, questions have surfaced about law enforcement resources, a late Amber Alert and legal jurisdiction for the crime that’s being tried in federal court. Hand-in-hand with those concerns is also the high rate of assault on Native women.

Deleana OtherBull, executive director of the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women, says talking about these issues is tough, but it has to happen to support health and wellness in tribal communities. 

Cristian V. via Flickr / Creative Commons License

For decades, the New Mexico Human Services Department has faced criticism for failing to properly process applications for Medicaid and food assistance, or SNAP benefits.

Several former and current Human Service Department workers testified last month that it was department policy to alter the information on emergency SNAP applications so that people wouldn’t be eligible for benefits.

littlevisuals.co via Pexels / creative commons license

A large fire broke out at a metal recycling plant in Albuquerque early Saturday morning. Bernalillo County issued a warning to neighbors during the fire, saying to stay inside and not breathe the potentially toxic smoke.

Wikimedia Commons / CREATIVE COMMONS

Methamphetamine Overdose Rates ClimbAlbuquerque Journal

Deaths from overdoses of methamphetamine have been climbing in New Mexico since 2008 and visits to emergency rooms have spiked as well.

DOI / Creative Commons via Flickr

Clinton Campaign Woos Women In New Mexico—Associated Press

Supporters of Hillary Clinton in New Mexico are calling attention to the Democratic presidential candidate's policies and advocacy on women's issues.

Wikibon / CREATIVE COMMONS

Middle Class Shrinks In Albuquerque And Santa Fe – Albuquerque Journal

The middle class in New Mexico’s largest city is shrinking, reflecting a trend happening around the country.

NASA

Wednesday the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a new set of rules aimed at reducing methane emissions from the oil and gas industry, as part of an effort by the Obama Administration to cut methane emissions 45 percent by 2025.

AdventureJay.com / CREATIVE COMMONS

State's Ski Season Wraps Up With More Than 938,000 Visitors – Santa Fe New Mexican, Associated Press

New Mexico saw an increase in the number of skiers who hit the slopes this past winter, with more than 938,000 people visiting the state's ski areas in the 2015-16 season.

pixabay / creative commons license

UPDATED 5/12 6a: The Santa Fe City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to raise the number of approved short-term rental units in the city from 350 to 1000. The New Mexican reports 19 people made public comments on the plan, some concerned, others supportive.

Atomicarchive.com via WikiMedia Commons

Residents Near Trinity Test Want Obama To Visit Village – The Associated Press

Residents of a historic Hispanic village in New Mexico are praising President Barack Obama's plan to visit Hiroshima — the Japanese city where the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb.

Horia Varlan via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Santa Fe is an expensive place to live. But it’s also an expensive place to build. Affordable housing and the bottom line of developers often clash. 

Hackathon Aims To Diversify Tech Workforce

May 10, 2016
Christiaan Colen via Flickr / Creative Commons License

 

Native American students Twylastar Warkie and Madison Castillo laugh and gather in front of a Macbook computer.  They are playing an early version of a game called Jelly Cat Trap.  They designed this game with help from some coding mentors at the Native My Brother’s Keeper Hackathon. The event took place at the Epicenter in downtown Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Flickr via CC

Potash Company To Idle Mine In Southeastern New MexicoCarlsbad Current-Argus, Associated Press

A Denver-based company says it plans to suspend production at a potash mining facility in southeastern New Mexico, with hundreds of workers reportedly losing their jobs.

Ed Williams

Living in Santa Fe has gotten more and more expensive over the years. Today, home prices in New Mexico’s capital city are higher than almost anywhere else in the state. So, what happens when people don’t earn enough to make it there?

@jbtaylor via Flickr / Creative Commons License

The deadline to register to vote in the primary election is May 10th, 2016. New Mexico doesn’t have open primary elections,  so if you’re not registered as a Democrat or a Republican in this state, you won’t be able to vote in those party primaries.

Roxanne Ready / Creative Commons via Flickr

    

Imagine when you walk out of your house the road signs are blank. Billboards, too. You try to order breakfast at that new brunch place, but you have to listen to other customers to figure out what’s on the menu. This is the reality for thousands of New Mexico adults who are struggling to read. 

Pictures of Money via Flickr / CREATIVE COMMONS

Lawmakers Asks Why Some State Tax Refunds Are Being Delayed Santa Fe New Mexican, Associated Press

A New Mexico lawmaker says attempts to crack down on tax refund fraud is delaying money to legitimate taxpayers throughout the state.

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